Volcanomagnetic anomalies: a review and the computation of the piezomagnetic field expected at Vulcano (Aeolian Islands, Italy)

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C. Del Negro
G. Budetta
F. Ferricci


he volcanic area of Vulcano experienced major unrest, which brought the fumarolic field temperatures from slightly less than 300 °C to ca. 700 °C between 1988-1993. The structure underlying the crater, investigated by drillings and by different geophysical techniques, is relatively well-known. This led us to attempt modelling the magnetic anomaly which could be generated by sudden pressure variations in the magma chamber at shallow depth. The rocks embedding the intrusive rock penetrated by drill-holes to a depth of ca. 2000 m are characterized by high susceptibility, which points to the possibility of obtaining significant magnetic anomalies with acceptably weak pressure pulses. The model for straightforward computing of the anomalous field was drawn accounting for (1) the inferred geometry of the Curie isotherrn, (2) presence of a spherical magma reservoir, 2 km wide and centred at a depth of 3.5 km, overlain by (3) a 0.5 km wide and 1.5 km high cylinder simulating the intrusion first revealed by drillings. The model elements (2) and (3) behave as a single source zone and are assumed to lie beyond the Curie point, the contribution to the piezomagnetic effect being provided by the surrounding medium. Under such conditions, a 10 MPa pressure pulse applied within the sourcezone provides a 4 nT piezomagnetic anomaly, compatible with the amplitude of the anomalies observed at those volcanoes of the world where magnetic surveillance is routinely carried out. The analytical method used for computation of the magnetic field generated by mechanical stress is extensively discussed, and the contribution of piezomagnetism to rapid variations of the magnetic field is compared to other types of magnetic anomalies likely to occur at active volcanoes.

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Del Negro C, Budetta G, Ferricci F. Volcanomagnetic anomalies: a review and the computation of the piezomagnetic field expected at Vulcano (Aeolian Islands, Italy). Ann. Geophys. [Internet]. 1994Nov.25 [cited 2022Jun.24];37(5 Sup.). Available from: https://www.annalsofgeophysics.eu/index.php/annals/article/view/4165

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